Review: ‘The Sky Has Fallen,’ Dramatic and Contemplative Horror
By: J. Carlos Menjivar
The gritty horror film The Sky Has Fallen, from writer and director Doug Roos, boldly proclaims that it’s all practical, no CG, and no shaky cam– and I’ll be damned if they didn’t deliver as promised.
The Sky Has Fallen is every gorehounds dream, featuring an excess of blood spurts, dismemberment, and beheadings. From the very first scene in the film, Roos makes his goal clear: there will be blood. However, the film is not your typical zombie flick despite its bloody intro and demeanor. On the one hand it seems that a virus has infected humanity, turning everyone into flesh eating ghouls, but on the other hand, there are nefarious black hooded figures wherever these ghouls go, and their hand might be behind this apocalyptic catastrophe. The mystery is left hanging for much of the film adding a layer of compelling enigma to an already brooding blood soaked tale.
Another reason this film stands out from the droves of zombie flicks out there, is its European and Japanese film visual style. Shot entirely in the backwoods of Missouri, luscious green scenery recalls such works as Kurosawa’s Rashomon (to add to this, our protagonist wields a samurai sword as his prefered method of execution). The film is drenched in a desperate drained humanity ala Ingmar Bergman, with expressive and contemplative imagery to match. Furthermore, the narrative core of the film are its two main characters, Lance (Carey MacLaren) and Rachel (played excellently by Laurel Kemper), who come together by sheer luck. Not only must the two survive the bloodthirsty undead, but they must cope with an assault on their conscience as they recall their tumultuous pasts, an obstacle yet to overcome. The Sky Has Fallen is full of drama and contemplative existentialism amidst the horrors of vicious and soulless beings, drenched in a melancholy tone of humanistic pessimism.
The Sky Has Fallen is the award winning feature length directorial debut from director Doug Roos. The film has won Best Feature at Freak Show Horror Film Festival, Best Horror Feature at Indie Gathering Film Festival, and Best Horror Feature at Global Independent Film Awards. The film has also been awarded for its extensive practical effects work taking the Best Practical Effects award at Fantasmagorical Film Festival.
The film has recently begun a new Kickstarter campaign to promote the film and get it into more festivals. The festival wins mentioned above are just some of the accolades garnered, a more extensive list is on their official Kickstarter. Click on the link for more information and learn how you can help the film and its filmmakers.
Keep the Fear Alive!